Duke Energy Issues Update on H.F. Lee Power Plant in Goldsboro NC

This information was released by Duke Energy on October 14, 2016:

As we have been communicating for several days, historically high flood waters in the Neuse River have covered three inactive coal ash basins at the H.F. Lee Power Plant in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Today, engineers confirmed that some material, including coal ash, eroded and was carried by flood waters outside one of the berms of an inactive basin.

Water samples taken by the company on October 12, just downstream of the inactive basins, were received today and do not show the presence of measurable ash-related constituents in the Neuse River.

Because the inactive basins have well-established cover — including organic material, grass, shrubs and trees — they have performed as expected in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

As flood waters continue to recede, engineers and environmental experts will continue to closely inspect the inactive basins and will be able to better assess the amount of material that was displaced.

Out of an abundance of caution, the company notified appropriate regulators of the observations today.

In June 2015, the company recommended excavation of ash because of potential flooding at the facility. That is now a requirement under North Carolina’s coal ash management law and that work is to be completed by 2028.

Duke Energy supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest. The company also distributes natural gas to 1.5 million+ customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many of the NC residents hit by Hurricane Matthew and its after-effects are customers of Duke Energy.

No additional information was provided regarding the amount of coal ash and materials moved by the floods nor how far they may have moved; though the company does state above that a future assessment is planned.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.